- Length Retention Secret? Ingredients For Chebé
- Traditional Chebé Recipe
- Their Process
- A Substitute Maybe?
- What Are The Key Principles Of Their Phenomenal Length Retention?
- The Takeaway
- Final Considerations
Here we always stress the importance of ensuring health if you want to achieve length. This is a holistic approach of course, inclusive of diet, mental wellness, and a consistent healthy hair care routine. Usually, we say that there is no miracle product or topical treatment that will give you long hair but after seeing the results the women of Chad get from using Chebé, we may have to revise that theory.
These Basara Arab women have hip and thigh length hair, and they credit it to a product that has been passed from generation to generation in their society. Haven’t heard of it? Well, you can watch the video by Miss Sahel below then we can discuss it.
Just an FYI, the video description on youtube states that the texture of the hair does not look kinky* because the weight of the powder “relaxes” their hair and gives it a curly appearance. It is the weight of the powder that causes the hair not to shrink, but their fringes do in fact have a kinky* texture.
When I first saw it I was so intrigued that I set out to find out more (especially because I saw the French version first) my search led me to salwanpetersen.com, a blog which provided the English explanation I wanted and the fact that the writer is also from Chad made it all the more meaningful.
I thought the entire “natural products” theme was very familiar then I realized it was extremely similar to Ayurveda which we have written about here, here, here and here. For ages, women have been using the self-healing practices of Ayurveda and used it’s powders and oils* for body healing and hair growth and retention. I asked myself that in the event that the ingredients to this concoction are hard to get, what could we substitute to create a product that has the same effect?
This caused us to take a deeper look at in the ingredients used.
Croton zambesicus (Lavender* Croton) – We found that this is traditionally used to treat inflammation. We know that inflammation is caused when there is some type of bacteria is in the body and the white blood cells go to work to expel it from the body. If that’s the case it means that this has anti-bacterial properties that can fight scalp issues like fungus. (That is why Vagisil, Monistat and all the other anti fungal creams work for hair growth.)
Mahalaba – This has anti-inflammatory as well as vasodilation properties, which means it doesn’t only fight inflammation but causes the widening of the blood cells by relaxing the walls of the blood vessels. When we do scalp massages we are trying to get the blood vessels relaxed to transport blood to the follicles so this is great. This is great because the more blood will get to the follicles to feed them the better (hopefully it’s oxygen and nutrient rich blood or else it really wouldn’t make a great difference).
Samouh (Acacia*) – This plant is used in dishes and sometimes ground out into something akin to flour, so it is a bit starchy and is added to the mixture to thicken it and give it a smooth creamy finish. In essence, it helps add slip. It has 25% more protein than common cereals. Remember how we said protein is the building block of hair? Well just maybe this is what is responsible for the unbreakable hair that these women have.
Cloves – This is perhaps the most familiar one to many of us (Who hasn’t popped some cloves into the Thanksgiving turkey or a salad?). Well, cloves have anthelmintic properties which basically mean they can get rid of parasites without causing damage to the host. This sounds like no lice to me.
Humra Perfume (Frankincense) Interestingly, we could hardly find out enough about this ingredient but found that the women substitute any fragrant oil in space of it when they don’t have the humra.
Misik (resin) – So far we haven’t found very much on this either.
We noticed that the ingredients list was short and most of the ingredients were edible. The women sometimes eat the edible ingredients, so might that also have some bearing on their results? From the little we found out about the ingredients it occurred to us that each ingredient is chosen to perform specific functions; moisturize, condition and strengthen and lock in moisture.
We learned that the strong fragrances of the ingredients may tend to be overwhelming for some persons and that the mixture itself can leave a brown stain so in its traditional state it would be impractical for those of us who lead lives in the western culture. The thing is, the Chad women use Chebé as a leave in, not as a mask that rinses off. To make it work for us we would have to constantly have our heads wrapped to keep from messing up our bed sheets or the collars of that work suit.
While a google search revealed links that we might buy most of the ingredients from (with the exception of Misik which seems to be a scarce commodity) we realized that the price points for some might prove steep for some of us. So a Chebé imitator might actually be something to explore.